As it pertains to children, monkey in the middle is a game played by three or more players. It’s a simple version of keep away and it involves a ball and a circle. One player stands in the middle of the circle and tries to catch it or deflect it as the other players toss it back and forth. Once that occurs, the player that failed to catch the throw is now declared “it” and they must stand in the circle and assume the monkey position. If it's a terrible throw to start with, the person that threw it could also find themselves on center stage. Repeat as often as necessary or until the little tykes get bored enough and move on to something else.
Clowns to the left me, jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you
As an adult, the term monkey in the middle takes on a whole new meaning. It’s usually viewed as a no win situation when your allegiances are divided among your friends, lover or co-workers. Inevitably, no matter what side you eventually take, you’re bound to piss someone off.
Although sometimes circumstances are unavoidable and they dictate when you find yourself stuck in the middle, the best way I’ve found out to limit those instances is to mind your own damn business.
Submitted in conjunction with INMEDIARES: a Quest in the middle of things